Customs and Designer Fakes

Old Mar 30th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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Customs and Designer Fakes

Would like to hear from people coming into the US from Asia thru LA- has anyone had issues with the customs people about bringing in Designer fakes?
BillT is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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Are you talking about a few for your own personal use/gifts, or a suitcase full for resale? For your personal use, you're permitted $800 value of items purchased overseas, so a few bags shouldn't be a problem.

But there is never any guarantee whether Customs will pinpoint you for inspection regardless whether you're within the limits or what you have. It's often a crap-shoot and I'm sure if you're bringing in lots of bags, this might cause a problem - then again, you might not be checked, so no problem.

On some trips we've been inspected, on others not.
Old Mar 30th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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You are right about the crap shoot. In airports I watch the custom officials and many times they count passengers, every 3 to 10 getting sent to be inspected. Other times they will look at clothing. I always notice that the "hippie" backpackers are singled out quite a lot, maybe the officials thinking they have drugs on them. I also have noticed that women are singled out more than men, maybe because they are stereotyped as shoppers?? By the way, I think LA is the easiest airport for customs, the officials are so laid-back and friendly.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 08:31 AM
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Of course, getting stopped at customs is the real issue. If you are, however, here is the low-down I heard from a friend who works for a law firm that specializes in customs law:

Customs will let you bring in one fake without any problem. Anything more will probably be confiscated and the going penalty is that you have to pay the retail amount of what the real designer item actually costs.

The one thing people do that I think is absolutely stupid is to buy a knock-off piece of luggage or large bag and then blatently try to carry it through customs, or those that wear there fake rolex when returning to the country. Like a trained customs agent is not going to spot that large, obnoxious plaid Burberry suitcase? So, if you do want to risk bringing in fakes, make sure they are at least packed safely away in your plain, non-name-brand luggage.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Are the customs agents really able to tell a fake designer bag from a real one? Even I can tell a fake Rolex from the real thing, but the bags look no different from the real ones to me.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 01:05 PM
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You're legally allowed to bring one of each type of product into the U.S. per person for your own use. So you could bring in one fake Prada handbag, one fake Rolex watch, one fake Mont Blanc pen, etc. but you aren't allowed to bring in 3 fake watches. You are also not allowed to bring in any copyrighted materials, i.e. DVD's, CD's.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 04:03 PM
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Bill -

We fly in and out of LA also and generally, have not had a problem. (knock wood!)

We haven't been stopped yet although I imagine that we are about as far from the "profile" as you can get...a married couple in their 30's-40's, well dressed, nothing suspicious looking AND we travel VERY, VERY lightly.

Us coming back from an Asia trip AFTER all the shopping, looks like most Americans LEAVING for their trip. In other words, our baggage looks normal and not as if we've purchased a whole heck of a lot when actually, we have! LOL

Be well dressed, friendly (but not overly so), smile, look them in the face (but don't stare) and follow above advice about not advertising your goods. Odds are on your side.

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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 04:29 PM
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i wonder if the customs service has an agent assigned to review the postings on this site?.....NOT!!(I hope)
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 06:32 PM
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